From The Desk Of The Primitives: My First Fuzz Box

The Primitives have been invited to guest edit MAGNET this week, so we thought we’d spin right back through memory, as the line from the title track of our new album, Spin-O-Rama, goes (how’s that for a clever bit of crowbarring?), and revisit some music-related experiences from our childhood, youth and early days of the band. There’s also some other random stuff to do with the world of the Primitives. It’s been a pleasure putting all this together, as there wouldn’t normally be any reason to relay any of this stuff. So thanks MAGNET, we’re enjoying the delve.


Paul: The first fuzz box I owned, or first effects pedal come to that, was a Carlsbro Suzz. I bought it secondhand from a music shop in Birmingham, and as soon as I got it home I plugged my guitar straight in, connected it to my amp, and in eager anticipation of some of that Stooges/garage-band-style fuzzed-out, distorted mayhem, began to strum a few random chords. The sound that came from my amp seemed more than a tad subtle and not what I was expecting at all. I adjusted the gain and sustain knobs, clicked the on/off button a few times, but still no filth. I convinced myself that I could hear a difference in the sound with the pedal on, but man, it was slight. The more I played the more I began to realise that I’d wasted my money on this ugly metal brick of a thing, that did pretty much nothing to my guitar sound … Then I noticed a panel with two screws on the Suzz’s underside, and the penny dropped. Nobody told me you had to put a battery in the fucker! Once it was loaded with an Eveready nine volt I was off.

I think I used that pedal on the first Primitives recordings, before switching to a Boss Heavy Metal pedal. These days I use a Danelectro Cool Cat for basic racket and a Catalinbread Merkin for single note stuff. If I had any kind of clue about electronics, I’d make my own ’60s-style fuzz box and call it Dalek’s Fart.